Guest Post Wednesday: From Battlefield to Boss– MBAs for Ex-Military Personnel
This guest post is brought to you by Linda Forshaw.
The first thing that retiring military personnel will want to do at the end of their service is to see family and friends, meet the babies that have perhaps arrived in their absence, and probably enjoy a few drinks. The next thing they might consider is their post-service options. Having spent years on the battlefield with a guaranteed paycheck every month, many service men and women will be at a loss as to what to do next. Could the answer be the boardroom?
Many ex-military personnel will be attracted by jobs in the business sector, and it’s fair to say that many businesses will be equally attracted by the qualities inherent in such candidates. Qualities such as self-discipline, team working, leadership, and the ability to remain cool under pressure are after all vital for a career in the military. The question that remains is how can military personnel translate their experience in service into something that business leaders want, need, and in some cases understand? One way in which military personnel can make their skill set attractive to business is the pursuit of an MBA.
It’s by no means an uncommon scenario and one which works well for all parties. Most business schools are keen to include a diverse cohort in their program of study and place a high value on the contribution that ex-military personnel can bring to the classroom. Many service men and women will be interested in pursuing an MBA, but may be put off by the prohibitively expensive cost associated with such study. Harvard Business School estimates the cost of an MBA for a married student with two children to be in excess of $120,000.
It’s a significant cost, particularly for veterans who may lack the level of income and savings that they could have accrued if they had spent years in a regular job. Thankfully, there are several avenues that ex-military can pursue to secure help toward funding the cost of an MBA. The G.I. Bill aims to provide assistance toward the cost of education and housing for service members. Specifically the Yellow Ribbon Program (post 9/11 G.I. Bill) may offer funding for all resident tuition and fees for participating public schools (and the national maximum funding for those wishing to attend participating private schools). Under the remit of the Yellow Ribbon Program, business schools offer funding of up to 50% of the associated costs and the program matches that contribution, thus significantly bringing down the cost of an MBA.
Military MBA provides comprehensive details of best value MBA program for veterans using the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. According to these rankings, the most military friendly business schools in terms of funding are the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University, and the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon. Depending on individual circumstances, ex-military personnel have the potential to have the cost of study at all four of these institutions to be covered in full.
An MBA for $0 – that has to sound tempting.
Linda Forshaw is a Business Information Systems graduate from Lancaster University in the UK. A contributor to Degree Jungle, she is a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, and entrepreneurship. Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay
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